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Rockliff Hands-Off on UTAS Future

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Tags: Education, UTAS

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Education spokesperson 

As Premier and former Education Minister, Jeremy Rockliff should be invested in future of the University of Tasmania. It’s the State’s only tertiary body, and is key step in the pathway of this island’s young people. 

In Parliament today, however, the Premier made it clear he’s taking a completely hands-off approach to the future of our state’s key tertiary institution. 

UTAS has cut courses, moved lectures almost entirely online, gutted the Law School, failed to negotiate in good faith with staff, and was pursuing an unpopular move into the Hobart CBD. The Premier sees all this, but wouldn’t commit to doing anything. 

Academics, graduates, and students from UTAS are voicing their shared concern about the corporatisation and decline in academic quality of the University. It’s clear UTAS is heading in the wrong direction, and now may be our only opportunity to correct. 

Premier Rockliff even claimed in Parliament recently UTAS is a private organisation. That’s not true – the University is administered by an Act of the Tasmanian Parliament, and receives government funding. 

When it comes to the future of UTAS, of course the Premier has a role to play. 

Given the importance of UTAS to Tasmanians, and to our State as a whole, the Premier must make it a priority. Instead it appears he’s finding any excuse to avoid responsibility.